The Reinvention Center was established in April 2000 as the only national organization to focus on undergraduate education exclusively at research universities.  The catalyst for its creation was the Boyer Commission Report, Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities(1998), which offered a vision of undergraduate education at research universities that builds on their unique assets and is synergistic with their research and graduate missions.
The Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University was funded by theCarnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  Soon after the report’s release, Shirley Strum Kenny, who served as chair of the Commission and was President of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, concluded that the work of the Commission could best be implemented by creating a national network of American research universities committed to strengthening undergraduate education.  She volunteered to host the aptly named Reinvention Center at Stony Brook. Dr. Wendy Katkin, Associate Provost for Educational Initiatives and Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook, was selected as the Center’s first director. An Executive Board was formed to provide overall direction and policies.